Putting a database online

Hi - I am new to DreamHost and have a question about a database I have that I would like to put online. It’s for a project I started some years ago called Brandywine Soldiers, an attempt to make a list of all the soldiers who fought at the Battle of Brandywine (Rev. War 1777). The database is in Microsoft Access and right now I export the records and stick them on my website. I can’t control what the records look like as they are exported and they are not pretty. Plus it’s too much work. I would like to put the database online somehow and have users be able to search it and add their own soldiers themselves instead of sending me an email and having me add them. How should I get this database online? Is a wiki a good idea for this? You can see the records at http://www.karenfurst.com/brandywinesoldiers/index.htm. Thanks for any guidance you can give on this matter. - Karen Furst

Are you trying to do this in DH? I don’t thinkk DH supports Access. They support MySQL because they are using non-window based system.

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Yes, I am trying to do this in DH. I am willing to switch to MySql. In fact, I went to the one click installer area and installed a database. Unfortunately, I have no idea what to do next. Are there tutorials on this subject? I don’t know how to access the database or add fields. Thanks for the help. Karen

I’m not sure what you have done :stuck_out_tongue: You can choose to create database when you try to install something in on-click installs. But that is not the right way to manage your database servers.

You should create database server in “Goodies” -> “Manage MySQL”. Look at the field “Database name” and “Hostname”. You can create new hostname for multiple databases. You can also store all the databases into the same hostname. Each hostname requires at leat one user to control it.


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I may be totally wrong here but I think perhaps the distinction between Access, which provides both the storage engine and the interface, and Mysql, which only provides the storage engine, may be tripping you up.

Mysql, by itself, is just a storage engine without any human-friendly interface. It accepts SQL commands to select, insert, update, or delete your data. It can do sorting and searching and that kind of stuff. But the friendly interface parts are not included as they are in Access.

At dreamhost, you can use phpMyAdmin, a reasonably friendly “administrator view” interface to the database. When you set up the mysql database, you assign it a hostname. Enter that hostname in a browser, log in to the resulting prompt with the database username and password you set up in the control panel, and you are administering your database via phpMyAdmin. This would be good for transferring your data from Access, making administrative updates, downloading a backup, etc.

For your website users, it’s probably not a good idea to allow them access to the database via phpMyAdmin. It’s not that friendly an interface for the general public, and you would not have enough access control to prevent vandalism of your database. For public web purposes, you would have to build a web site in one of the scripting languages dreamhost supports (perl, php, ruby, etc.) that can issue the SQL commands to read, search, and update your mysql database (in an appropriately access-limited way).

I’m sorry if that was too basic or totally off-topic; hope it helps.

MySQL, is not just a storage engine. It is a real databasee server. Access itself is not a server.

You can try MySQL control center. It is very user friendly and will make your life much easier.

With MySQL control center, you can connect to your database remotely if you set up correctly. But most of the time, we don’t recommend people to do that for security issues. We should not disclose the “root” user name and password in the web and always use limited user to connect to the database for certain commands only.

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Thank you both for your comments - they were very helpful and certainly increased my understanding of this issue. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have the skill level currently to pursue this so I’m going to do some reading about MySQL and maybe take a class or something when I have time. In the meantime, I think I’ll try to find a way to get Dreamweaver and Access to work together better so at least my data will be more presentable. Right now I am exporting it from Access and it is not pretty. I bought a domain name, brandywinesoldiers.com, for the project and you can view the files there if you want to see what I am doing. Thanks again. Karen

You do know that an Access DB won’t work terribly well on a DH hosted account? And it isn’t very exciting on a Mac either if I remember correctly.

Practice does make perfect and if something doesn’t work you still learn something from it.

Good luck Karen!



I highly recommend the book by David Powers

Foundation PHP with Dreamweaver 8.

Got me up and running with PHP MySql and Dreamweaver and taught me how to install Apache and MySql on my Win XP machine. Also how to use phpMyadmin (which is how you setup your database tables and import things like a CSV list from Access so you can turn that into tables in MySql)

Best of luck